The city of Zadar has been inhabited for more than 3000 years. It was founded by Romans as one of their colonies in 1st century B.C. by the name of Iader but the archaeological findings indicate that the first settlement in the area dates back from the Paleolithic Era.
For centuries it was the capital of Dalmatia, Croatian region which was, because of the exit to Adriatic Sea, a point of interest for many foreign conquerors. Zadar was ruled by Venetians, Austrians and Napoleon and all of these governors left their trace not only in history, but also in gastronomy, language and traditions of the city.
Guided tour starts from Greeting to the Sun, a modern art installation located on the western part of the Old Town peninsula. It continues on the seafront promenade where you will be followed by the music of Sea Organs all the way to ancient Forum square.
Forum square was constructed from 1st century B.C. and was finally finished in 3rd century. It was surrounded by the massive marble pillars and on its western part stood the capitolium with temple dedicated to Roman gods Junona, Jupiter and Minerva. In the 9th century on the northeastern part of the square was built the church of st. Donatus which was primary dedicated to Holy Trinity and nowadays carries the name of famous, medieval bishop who according the legend brought the body of st. Anastasia to Zadar.
Eastern from the Forum square stands the cathedral of st. Anastasia, one of the four patron saints of Zadar. It is the biggest cathedral in Dalmatia built in Romanesque style in the 12th and 13th century on the place of former early-Christian basilica. One floor of the bell tower was erected in 15th century and it was upgraded in the end of 19th century following the designs of famous British architect Thomas Graham Jackson.
The tour continues on Kalelarga, the main city`s street that leads to People`s square that has been the center of public life in Zadar from Middle Ages `till today. It is surrounded by the City Hall, City Guard and City Lodge.
City Hall closes the square from the north and west. It was constructed in Neo-renaissance style 1934. Next to it stood the church of st. Lorenz from 11th century whose ruins are nowadays incorporated within a catering establishment. On the southwestern part of the square is located Renaissance building of city guard erected in 1562. with a clock tower from 18th century. Opposite of it stands city lodge from 12th century, refurbished in 1565. It was a place of trial where citizens were making contracts and the government officers read the proclamations.
The tour ends with maraschino tasting at cafe Lovre, one of the oldest cafes in Zadar. Maraschino is a cherry liquor of rich taste that is being produced from the cherries of maraska sort that have been grown in the hinterland of the city for centuries.